WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush in recent days has recast the global war on terror into a "war against Islamic fascism." Fascism, in fact, seems to be the new buzz word for Republicans in an election season dominated by an unpopular war in Iraq.
Bush used the term earlier this month in talking about the arrest of suspected terrorists in Britain, and spoke of "Islamic fascists" in a later speech in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Spokesman Tony Snow has used variations on the phrase at White House press briefings.
Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania, in a tough re-election fight, drew parallels on Monday between World War II and the current war against "Islamic fascism," saying they both require fighting a common foe in multiple countries. It's a phrase Santorum has been using for months.
And Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday took it a step further in a speech to an American Legion convention in Salt Lake City, accusing critics of the administration's Iraq and anti-terrorism policies of trying to appease "a new type of fascism." (Full story)
White House aides and outside Republican strategists said the new description is an attempt to more clearly identify the ideology that motivates many organized terrorist groups, representing a shift in emphasis from the general to the specific.
"I think it's an appropriate definition of the war that we're in," said GOP pollster Ed Goeas. "I think it's effective in that it definitively defines the enemy in a way that we can't because they're not in uniforms."
Let's see. Under the only way in which Fascism has ever been defined, it means an authoritarian, militaristic, highly controlled and regulated national government led by a dictator like ... er ... Mussolini ... or ... er ... Adolf Hitler.
So now, according to BushCo, Fascism doesn't mean that at all. It means well ... them ... over there ... you know ... the ones we're fighting ... or might fight in the future ... whoever they are ... you know ... the ones who hate us ... those guys.
Obviously we're suddenly hearing the 'f' word because internal Repub. polling is showing the War on Terror is not pulling 'em into the used car lot like it used to. And the "world war 3" phrase deflated immediately upon its first trial balloon a month ago. Hmm ... can't use communist. Can't use evil empire cuz there is no empire to be evil. Can't use godless heathens cuz they are devout religionists. Can't use infidel cuz it brings up all that Crusades baggage.
How about Really Really Really Really Bad People ?